Public Comment Period Closes: Draft Consent Order & Draft NPDES Wastewater Permit - Belews Creek Steam Station

Event Description

PUBLIC NOTICE
N.C. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
INTENT TO ISSUE NPDES WASTEWATER DISCHARGE PERMIT #NC0024406
INTENT TO ISSUE SPECIAL ORDER BY CONSENT S18-009

PERMIT APPLICATION
Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC has applied for a renewal of its NPDES wastewater permit (NC0024406) for the Belews Creek Steam Station, 3195 Pine Hall Road; Belews Creek, NC, Stokes County. The facility discharges treated industrial wastewater to Belews Lake, unnamed tributary to Dan River, and Dan River in the Roanoke River basin. This discharge may affect future allocations in this portion of the Roanoke River basin.

The thermal component of the discharge is subject to effluent limitations under the federal Clean Water Act sections 301/306 and N.C. Administrative Code Section: 15A NCAC 2B.0211 (3) (j), which prohibits an exceedance of 2.8 degrees C (5.04 degrees F) above the natural water temperature, and in no case to exceed 32 degrees C (89.6 degrees F). The permit holder has requested a continuance of a Thermal variance, which would impose an alternative, less stringent limitation on the thermal component of the discharge. The proposed variance imposes a daily average limit of 32.0 degrees C (89.6 degrees F) downstream at the discharge from the Belews Lake Dam (5.3 miles from the outfall). Based on N.C. Administrative Code Section: 15A NCAC 2B.0208 (2) (b) and other lawful standards and regulations, the N.C. Division of Water Resources proposes to continue the Thermal variance and conduct a comprehensive study to obtain a 316(a) variance in conjunction with renewal of the permit.

Public comments on the draft permit modification may be submitted by mail to: DWR-Wastewater Permitting, Attn: Belews Creek Permit, 1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C., 27699-1617. Public comments may also be submitted by email to: publiccomments@ncdenr.gov. Please be sure to include “Belews Creek Permit” in the email’s subject line. All comments received by Jan. 25, 2019 will be considered in the final determination regarding permit issuance and permit provisions.

SPECIAL ORDER BY CONSENT
Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC has requested Special Order by Consent #WQ S18-009 for its Belews Creek Steam Station to address issues related to potential noncompliance with NPDES permit effluent limits established in the draft permit expected to become effective in 2019. Potential exists for exceedance of proposed limits for pH, chlorides, sulfates, total arsenic, total cadmium, total mercury, total selenium, total thallium, total dissolved solids and chronic toxicity in the facility’s discharges to the UT to the Dan River.

The N.C. Environmental Management Commission proposes to issue the Order per Article 21 of Chapter 143, N.C. General Statutes, and other regulations effective Feb. 11, 2019.

Compliance with this Order requires Duke Energy to expedite construction activities at the Belews Creek Steam Station, resulting in the redirection of all treated, coal ash wastewater flows to a new outfall discharging directly to the Dan River, such that all effluent discharges to the UT to the Dan River are eliminated by September 30, 2020. During the time that the Order is effective, interim effluent limits will be established at NPDES Outfalls 003, 003A and 111, and interim action levels will be established in the UT to the Dan River. As drafted, this Order will expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

Public comments on the order may also be submitted by mail to: DWR-Wastewater Permitting, Attn: Belews Creek SOC, 1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C., 27699-1617. Public comments may also be submitted by email to: publiccomments@ncdenr.gov. Please be sure to include “Belews Creek SOC” in the email’s subject line. All comments on the draft Order received by Jan. 25, 2019 will be considered in its final determination. Requests for the holding of a public hearing on the SOC may be submitted in the same manner as described above. The Director shall consider all requests for a public hearing, and it is determined that there is significant public interest in the matter, a public hearing will be held. All requests for a public hearing must be submitted by Jan. 25, 2019.

PUBLIC REVIEW OF DOCUMENTS
Both the draft wastewater permit and the draft order are available online at: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/water-resources/water-resources-permits/wastewater-branch/npdes-wastewater-permits. Printed copies of the draft order or draft permit and related documents may be reviewed at the department’s Winston-Salem Regional Office. To make an appointment to review the documents, please call 336-776-9800.

Questions regarding the draft permit or the draft order may be sent to the attention of Dr. Sergei Chernikov (permit) or Mr. Bob Sledge (SOC), N.C. Division of Water Resources, 1617 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1617. Dr. Chernikov may also be reached at 919-707-3606 or sergei.chernikov@ncdenr.gov. Mr. Sledge can be reached at 919-707-3602 or bob.sledge@ncdenr.gov.

Date: 12/19/2018                                                
Signed by Jeffrey O. Poupart       
for J. D. Solomon, Chairman
Environmental Management Commission

 

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